It would be an unhealthy choice to dine at Chick-Fil-A on a regular basis. In addition to being high in fat and sodium content, the food here is highly processed – a veritable minefield of preservatives and additives.
With a reputation for having an attentive and enthusiastic frontline staff, Chick-Fil-A is the type of restaurant people love to patronize. Increasing profits show a commitment to what they have to offer, despite recent negative attention paid to the Conservative Christian values which are tightly woven into the fabric of this organization. The first Chick-Fil-A opened its doors in 1967, and it has since grown to include close to 2000 restaurants.
Chick-Fil-A’s slogan “Eat Mor Chikin” unquestionably promotes the health benefits of chicken over red meat, and recently they have been flying on the coattails of a public announcement that will stop using chickens raised with the help of antibiotics. Despite this, the chicken sandwich which this fast food chain claims to have invented is without a doubt the unhealthiest item on the menu. Both chicken and bun are over-processed and contain a long list of ingredients. In addition to the usual suspects – MSG, sodium, saturated fats and high fructose corn syrup, they are loaded with preservatives and additives to make the meal more attractive, as well as giving it a longer shelf life. Buns contain Azodicarbonamide – the yoga mat rubber which Subway came under fire for using as a dough softener, and food coloring appears among the list of chicken coating ingredients.
Skipping the bread and opting for grilled chicken will not save you – sugar, salt, maltodextrin, modified food starches and artificial flavorings and colorings are all encountered here. The waffle fries should be avoided at all costs – not only will they net you 520 calories, they contain color retention and anti-foaming agents, as well as chemical preservatives.
As with most fast food restaurants, a nutritional breakdown of menu items is available for Chick-Fil-A. Accessing this will keep you blissfully unaware of additives and preservatives, but occasional diners should use it to select something low in calories, fat, and sodium, while providing a sufficient supply of protein to suppress appetite until the next mealtime. Several menu items at Chick-Fil-A meet this mark. A Grilled Market Salad is your best bet. It contains both fruit and vegetables and weighs in at 200 calories with 23 grams of protein, and only 5 grams of fat. Chicken nuggets contain 19 grams of fat but will keep you just under 400 calories while providing a full 40 grams of protein.
Possible short-term side effects
Possible long-term side effects
- high cholesterol
- heart and kidney disease
- high blood pressure
Ingredients to be aware of
- saturated fats
- artificial colors
- high fructose corn syrup
- dimethylpolysioxane (anti-foaming agent)
- in n out
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Written by Healthy Living 35 | 02-19-2016
Written by Healthy Living 35
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